During a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides last week, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan shared a revised military plan that includes sending up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks U.S. forces or speeds up its work on nuclear weapons, administration officials told The New York Times on Monday.
National Security Adviser John Bolton, an Iran hawk, ordered the updated plan for the meeting, which took place after the administration claimed Iran was organizing proxy groups to attack American forces in Syria and Iraq. It is unclear whether Trump, who has said he wants to remove troops from Afghanistan and Syria, has been briefed on the matter, or if he would agree to send so many troops to the Middle East.
Officials told the Times there is a divide in Trump’s team when it comes to the Iran plan: Some believe it is proof Iran is a major threat to the U.S., while others say this is just a way to scare Iran out of trying anything. The plan does not call for a land invasion of Iran, the Times reports, as many more troops would be needed for such a mission.
Read more: theweek.com